What’s Your Valentine Story?
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What’s Your Valentine Story?

It’s funny that I used to associate Valentine’s Day with the deterioration of my previous marriage. 
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Three years ago today I was waiting in line at a flower shop with a cup of coffee in one hand and my cell phone in the other as my boss rattled off an impromptu message for the roses he was having me pick up for his wife.

Let me say this. I’ve never seen the point in flowers. Sure, they’re pretty and they smell alright but the idea that someone is giving me a gift that’s just going to wither and die seemed senseless.

Thankfully my ex-husband had agreed so every year he avoided the flowers and stuck with the clichéd heart shaped box full of gamble chocolates… so you can imagine my surprise when I noticed him at the counter paying for one dozen long stem pink roses.

As he turned to leave I quickly ducked out of the way, turning my back to him to avoid detection and as I stood there, I couldn’t help but smile at the idea that despite my reservations, this year he was still willing to try and make the Holliday special.

Well, needless to say that was the year I found out about his affair and those beautiful roses I watched him pay for had been for his mistress.

Somewhere in between feeling sorry for myself and my recovery, I developed this irrational dislike of all things related to Valentine’s Day. I know now that it was just a coping mechanism that allowed me to place blame on something instead of someone which can sometimes be easier.

I hated stuffed bears holding hearts, and those stupid little antacid hearts with their cheesy messages, and I even started to hate the color combination of red, white, and pink.

When you’re going through a divorce the simplest thing can be your crutch and for a while I let myself drown in a feeling so irrational and petty that I just couldn’t see things for how they were until a friend of mine asked me over to her place.

As we sat there drinking wine, sharing the pain of ex-lovers, she paused to contemplate my situation before saying, “So in a way, it was a good thing. Had you not caught him buying flowers for someone else, you wouldn’t have found out for… God, who knows how long.”

It was such a small comment, almost said in passing but the truth of it was astounding and that in itself was enough to make me reconsider the festering hate I had for a day of the year that in truth had helped me see things in my ex-husband I hadn’t even thought to look for.

So this Valentine’s Day, please take the advice of someone who has been there and don’t blame the Holliday or the people celebrating it.

Divorce is painful, but for it’s own completely unrelated reasons and when you try to shove all your painful feelings and resentment towards happy people (and stuffed bears) into the same box, the less likely you are to heal.

What’s your Valentines story?

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thom Slade
    February 14, 14:05 Reply
    Marissa thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so easy to focus on the dark aspects and spectres of an Ex Instead of looking forward to where that path can lead to, in a new life, with creative freedom that we may never have found. I didn't catch mine at a florist, but for years it was hard to visit certain restaurants or parts of town. Now they hold nothing on me, and I have become a better person for it. Hope you had a fantastic Valentines every day (maybe mix up the chocolates with the stuffed bears and flowers for your heart). Thom

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